how to choose the perfect brand name for your business

    An open dictionary with text: how to choose your brand name - my proven process to find the perfect name for your business

    Whether you have a clothing brand, you’re a business consultant, you make edible glitter cupcakes, or you’re starting a full-service marketing agency: choosing a name is hands down the hardest part of getting the damn thing off the ground! It feels like a massive decision with too many possibilities, so you’re not alone if you got a little stuck on this part.

    While I can’t do the work for you, I’m hoping the perspectives I share in this post will give you the direction you need to confidently pick the best possible name for your brand. If you’re willing to take your time and trust the process, I guarantee you’ll find a unique name that’s the perfect fit for your business.

    If I were to sit down with you and guide you through the naming process, these are the 5 steps I would take you through. Let’s do it!

    5 steps to choosing the right brand name for your business

    1. Decide which feelings you want your brand to evoke

    Branding is all about emotion, so before you make any brand strategy decisions (including choosing a name), you need to know how you want your ideal clients to feel. Energetic? Relaxed? Badass? Motivated? Adored? Confident? Wealthy? Free?

    This is going to depend on their psychology, their frustrations, their motivations, and who they want to be. But it’s also going to depend on the product or service you’re offering. The sweet spot is when you can find harmonious overlap between the two.

    For example: If your clients want to feel fit and strong but you’re selling copywriting services, that’s probably not the correct link. How else do they want to feel? Choosing your brand name should be strategic, so keep going until you find the connection that fits!

    Need practical help with this type of psychology work WITHOUT filling out another ideal client avatar worksheet? Then you’ll love Ideal Client Magic!

    2. Jot down images and words that elicit those feelings

    Have you heard of the bouba-kiki effect? There’s been a handful of studies around the concept, but this one is particularly interesting because of the link between words and human emotion.

    Basically: the way a word sounds has an effect on how we feel. Not necessarily the words themselves, but literally the sounds that happen as we hear the words. Fascinating, right?!

    It’s definitely something to keep in mind as you choose your brand name. The word might look cool written down, but how does it literally sound coming out of your mouth?

    3. Try out unique words, combinations of words, or make up your own word

    This is the fun part – but it also might be the most frustrating part since there really are no rules to choosing your brand name. Since you’ve already done steps one and two, this section should be pretty simple – you just gotta dive in and allow yourself to have fun with it.

    You already have your list of words, so this is where I want you to use tools like Word Hippo, Rhymezone, Wordlab, Thinkmap, and even the trusty ol’ Thesaurus. And then just go for it. (Yes, you can totally make up your own word as long as you’ve done the first two steps!)

    There’s not much more specific direction I can give you here; it’s going to be messy and you probably won’t find it right away. So the best advice I can give you is to LET choosing your brand name be messy, enjoy the process, and trust your intuition!

    4. Test the brand name out, experiment with using it, and let it simmer

    Now that you’ve narrowed down your list of words to a few you like, give it some time to gel before you make your brand name official. See how it looks written down. Listen to how it sounds when you say it out loud. If someone asked what your company was called, would you feel confident telling them? Would you feel confident pitching your offer or introducing yourself at a networking event?

    If you already have an aligned audience for your product or service, there’s no harm in asking what they think! You could also do a quick vote to see which brand name they like better if you can’t choose between multiple names. Our people like to be involved with our process, so letting them in on the decision can be a really fun and easy way to help them connect with your brand.

    I will, however, caution you to not ask friends and family for their advice. Unless they’re your ideal client or an industry peer, their biases and opinions might actually do more harm than good to your creative process. On the other hand, you might have a great support system that’s able to see these things more objectively. Use your discretion here, but don’t let assholes crush your dreams =D

    5. Make sure your brand name isn’t already being used

    Once you’ve chosen a brand name, make sure it’s not already being used by another business because is there anything more mortifying than getting a cease and desist letter in the mail?! Check out registered trademarks, copyrights, social media profiles, and even domain names.

    This is a crucial step because of course you don’t want to be the jerk who steals someone else’s name. BUT you also want to make sure you’re building something unique that’s all yours. Choosing a brand name is a lot of work, so make sure your investment of time and energy will pay off in the long run.

    As creative entrepreneurs we put SO much unnecessary pressure on choosing a brand name. I’m not saying your name doesn’t matter, but as a brand strategist I can promise you the brand you build around the name is actually a lot more important than the name itself.

    Any brand name will be memorable if you give people a reason to remember it, and you do that with your brand strategy. Need some help getting started? Grab your free copy of The No-Bullshit Guide to Branding:

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    April 23, 2024





    Hi, I’m Asia!

    As your No-Bullshit Brand Strategist I’m here to help you discover, leverage, and communicate what makes you unique so you can boldly position your expertise! I believe entrepreneurs will change the world, that bottle openers are the best accessory, and that real bravery is eating tacos in a white shirt.

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